The Plan



I have wanted to build a arcade cabinet for a long time, mainly for the fun of actually building it. So after scouring the web I have now decided on this plan. I am making the plan so I can get opinions from other people on what I am going to do, hopefully others wil be able to point out flaws/easier ways of doing things. I'm probably planning WAY too much for my FIRST cabinet.. But if im going to do it I may aswell try for the best.

The things the Cabinet will be used for:

Playing arcade games (MAME), a pinball emulator, a jukebox (DWJukebox), "Singstar" cabinet (2 microphones) for singing comps (ultrastar), a emulator for other games (n64, snes etc etc).


I am going to go with a mix of LuSiD’s Arcade Flashback, Cabinet Design, rev. 7 and Elvis's MAME CAB#1 (thanks Elvis for the plans and the wonderful site -

So it will have the marquee and either a TV monitor or a CRT monitor (i am not going for LCD). Along with speakers, and coin mech. Only differences, I would not have a keyboard drawer (wireless keyboard) the front coin door will not open, the back will open (or part of it). I know this is a bad thing but a lot of the placement of things will be left upto the day. This is probably the WORST idea I have. If a lot of people say I should plan the exact location of everything I will get a copy of a Autocad type probram and spend more time planning everything. 

Coin Mech/doors:

I am going to go for in my mind a professional looking coin mech/coin door. A coin mech (with door) and also another coin door for emptying the coins. Dependong on how much room is left also another coin door for storage of microphones/storage of keyboard/mouse. For simplicity I will have all the locks on the cabinet key'd a like. Also for fun I will have a Coin counter just so in my mind it feels more professional.

 I will not be "charging" but only for my self personally (i know that charging for MAME is a big big NO NO)

$90 - Coin Door Kit -

$20 - Coin Access Door -

PURCHASED $27 - 10xBarrell Locks Key'd a like (4 keys)  - rusco from (ebay look a like) 

- $4.50 - 6 digit coin counter 12V - rusco from (ebay look a like) 

Connectors on the Cabinet

As this cabinet will be doing so many different things I need to plan on what connectors it will have on it now. It will need to have a AUDIO in/out for the jukebox part of the cabinet. Aswell because the cabinet is going to be a "singstar" cabinet I will need to add a VIDEO out so I can connect it upto another display to show the words to sing easier on the couch. Also I want it to have a network port, even tho i will be adding a wireless bridge inside the cabinet I want the option of having a network cable for transfering large files. So my idea is I will have a 2 port network wall plate with 1 port being wired into the computer and the other port wired into the wireless bridge. So 99% of the time I will have a small cable going from 1 port to the other (therefore linking the computer to the biridge. And it means i can use the bridge seperately from the cabinet if needed and also plug a network cable into the cabinet if needed. The network and rca connectors will be mounted on the right of the cabinet/maybe the back (not 100% sure yet) along with the power plug/cable.

$2.8 - 2 port wall plate - CORPOREAL IT SOLUTIONS (it will be a little more for the 2 rj45 plugs for this wall plate)

$7.80 - 4 rca ports on wall plate - JayCar (this was my first pick at the audio in/out tho i forgot about the need for video out hence the plate below)

$2.25 - 6 Port RCA  - JayCar - (2 of thse ports would be used to Video in/out)

Also i want to have this cabinet as a "singstar"/ultrastar cabinet aswell. So I will need to add microphone ports to the cabinet. I am not 100% sure where the microphone ports will go, most likely on the front of the cabinet (maybe under the control pane). I will need 2 of these 1 for each player. The microphones will be stored inside the cabinet for storage/transport.

$5.0 - 3 pin cannon connector - Jaycar


While scouring the web I ended up finding one of the BEST howto's for cabinet software around. MalaEmuSetup (mirror'd locally from here) by UncleT. It describes the steps to correctly setup MALA along with lots of emulators (mame, n64, snes, amegia etc etc). Unfortunately some of the links are outdated, tho google will help you a bit. The OS of choice will be windows 2000 (already have a spare licence) or Windows XP, mainly because of this howto. The other positives of using MALA as the front end are the lightup buttons system. Which allows arcade buttons which light up so the user knows which buttons are used by which game. And also the LCD screen which i will place in the middle of the cab. (just above the control panel facing the front)

UltraStar Deluxe -
This is a mod for Ultrastar which adds on some more party modes etc. If you need songs I would recommend buying the albums then finding a torrent with the albums you purchased. It will be controlled by the joystick/buttons on the control panel.

DWJukeBox -
This is sofar the best jukebox software I have found. I like it because it allows for credits (which will go well with my coin mech's) and for the random songs when not in use. Again controlled by the joysticks and buttons on the control panel.


Luckily I have a spare car stereo system and 2 speakers (sony Xplode speakers). I will use the car stereo or more likely JUST the speakers with 2 mono amps.

Control Panel

The most important part of the cabinet. I will be goingfor a 2 player 6 button configeration. This is the area which I need the most help/opnions on the placement of the buttons (exactly) etc.

2x Start Button (only place i can find BLACK start buttons)

12x Pushbuttons (not sure where to get.. i want them to have lights in them).

Other Buttons

1xPush button on the side, for pinball.